There is perhaps no other area of law that evokes more emotion and a sense of urgency than child custody. The child custody process can be contentious, difficult and complex for everyone involved as a divorce unfolds, and the process can continue as the needs and circumstances of those involved change. For Missouri families, it is imperative that parents know the complications and responsibilities that surround matters of both physical custody and legal custody.
Legal custody refers to the power a parent has to make decisions for and about the child. These decisions can include religious teachings or decisions about education. Also, healthcare decisions are included if a parent has legal custody of a child.
Physical custody relates to the actual time a child spends in the physical presence of a parent. Joint custody is the typical arrangement. This means both parents spend a significant amount of time with the child. However, that is not guaranteed, and the sharing of equal time does not necessarily mean equal down to the minute because that is simply not possible in most cases.
Protecting the best interests of the child is the goal of Missouri family courts. However, that is not always an easy task, and families may find the process overwhelming. However, help from those who understand the issue a family is facing and those who also understand the laws pertaining to child custody in Missouri can be helpful. Our website has more information for parents about child custody situations and how the process may unfold for families.